This was such a rad year. I got my Master's degree, got a sweet job, finally got a 3DS (my first ever Nintendo thing), met with some DarkStation folks in person, made new friends, did Extra Life, and played an absurd amount of awesome games. It bums me out slightly that I have to limit this list to a top 5 and 5 honorable mentions because I really enjoyed every game I played this year. But I'm also glad that I get the chance to recognize the cream of the crop here on this site. The best of the best of the best, sir. With honors. Favorite Game Released Before 2013, Played in 2013: Euro Truck Simulator 2
I feel like every one of my suggestions that begins with, “You should play Euro Truck Simulator 2,” always gets a laugh from the other person, and then must be followed up by, “I’m totally serious! You should play ETS2.” Here’s what you do: download a bunch of episodes of the DarkCast (preferably the ones that feature yours truly, especially the Persona 4 one), launch the game on your TV, map the gamepad inputs correctly, sit back on your couch, and enjoy the drive through Europe’s beautifully rendered pastures while listening to the dulcet tones of the DarkStation staff.
5. The Room Two
Oof, this is cutting really close. These posts are due in 45 minutes and I just finished the third chapter of this game that was released earlier today on the iOS App Store. I don’t know how many chapters there are total but I’ve had such a blast so far and they’ve created such delightful sequences of puzzles. I really liked The Room (One) and the Epilogue that was used to bridge the two games together.
4. The Stanley Parable
I wish I hadn’t played the mod.
3. The Yawhg
A few weeks ago I drove down to North Carolina to meet with some friends I’ve made online, two of them being fellow DarkStationers Doug & Kyle. We had just finished one of the best Johann Sebastian Joust games that I’ve played in years when I busted out The Yawhg. I will never forget that playthrough; us sitting on the floor, tired as heck, playing this gorgeously illustrated co-operative narrative fiction game, shaping our shared, unique story together.
I grin every time I look into atoi’s world on my Vita. When I play Tearaway, pure joy & warmth enter my heart as I journey through Media Molecule’s papercrafted environments and characters. I came to the Vita for Persona 4 Golden, but I’m glad I stayed for Tearaway.
1. Gone Home
It was raining outside. I lit the candles, opened the Merlot, and wrapped myself up in the softest blanket I have. My first playthrough of Gone Home was basically a date.
I found Gone Home special because it was a new experience, because it told a new story, because I have a lesbian friend named Sam, because when I gave her Gone Home as a birthday present and said, “You have got to play this,” she played a game about herself. Gone Home is special because it has the biggest potential for inspiring new people to play and create games.
When I finished Gone Home, I just wanted to hug its developers.
Honorable Mention: Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Fire Emblem Awakening, Don't Starve, 140, Proteus
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